Did I Just Dream That? Tales from my first Shambhala Music Festival

Your time in any festival is special. My very first Shambs was a dream I’ll never forget. Here are some of the highlights.

A couple of short days after being back into my normal routine, I remember feeling as if the experience was a dream. Perhaps I fell asleep in my tent the first night, along with the pounding of this Pagoda amps I might feel within my pillow swallowed me up and transported me to a different dimension where I’ve been lost in a world of noise and colour and also the greatest of frequencies for the past week … Maybe I’ll wake up one of these nights back into my tent and get to live it all over again irl!

More likely I’m trapped waiting to experience that magic energy but using a head and heart full of Shambhalove.

In the earliest smiling faces that greeted us at the entrance, to the unforgettable friends we met in the river along with our nearby pub, to the incredible artists throwing down from sunset to sunrise daily, Shambhala proved to be a one-of-a-kind encounter with musical paradise.

Ironically, I haven’t. Thus far, this leaves my third or fourth largest festival in actuality. While I’m not any festi connoisseur, there are a few things I believe put Shambhala Music Festival apart from the slew of additional audio evets going on these days.

The Sound is Insane

I’t never worn earplugs in a festival, or in any place apart from Bass Center. But I bought a pair after the first night of Shambs because DAUM, these speakers bump! What a treat to experience 6+ stages and 100+ collections of PK Sound, engineered for the best sound adventure possible. It was evident that the people were there to the songs, as opposed to simply to celebration in a festival, and this is a refreshing change. Creation is of the maximum priority to Shambhala’s founders, and I have a sense every festival after that will pale in contrast to the invasion this festival provides.

Glitch Mob2.m4v (; 0:38) The Size is Perfect

It’s not too big, not too little, and permits you to slide between sets, individuals, and your campsite. This is especially significant when the lineup is stacked with many artists that you can’wont overlook. Ain’t nobody got enough time to trek 15-30 minutes between stages when there are 50 artists onto your must-see list. God forbid you overlook something in your campsite at Electric Forest, you’d better be ready to live with no or overlook out a good part of the evening hiking back. In Shambs, I can scurry back to my knee for an extra coating or gum in 10-20 minutes tops.

You also run into people in a way. You lose your friends at a massive holiday and if your phone dies, it’ll probably take some festival magical to locate them again. In Shambhala, simply head to the sets that you wish to see and chances are you’ll run into them ldquo;& amp rdquo; between the stages. Even the dancefloors were comfy and quaint, with no overcrowded. With the exception of one set, I felt helpless or constricted and had room to set down my backpack if I needed to. This makes this a difference if you’re hours on your toes.

My group, photo credit, The Chronic ElectronicThe Visuals are all Dreamy

I can’t imagine a better experience compared to that which I saw in Shambhala. Not only is each stage special, but a lot of them are handcrafted structures with viewing systems and complex bits and pieces that make each one a world all of its own. Other festivals have distinct stages, each using their own vibe, although I don’t remember any one of them feeling as another ride in Disneyland.

The Pagoda stage, particularly, is a eye-opening excursion you need to take to trust. Forget an LED panel or video display behind the DJ. This can be an whole structure constructed from real Canadian timber (that has been en route to Japan to be used on real pagodas before the Shambs crew swooped it) with some of the world’s top VJs running the show. Take a look at my interview with Rob Campbell, Pagoda’s stage director, for more of the production information, but this stage alone is worth visiting with Shambhala because of its adventure. My fantasies are better because I’t seen that the Pagoda.

Defunk in PagodaThe Nature is Beautiful 

Even the Kootenay Mountains overlook that the festival, and if you get there early enough that you can even set up right in the foothills that surround the ranch. Even the Salmo River running right through the festival grounds had been the perfect place to relax and recharge (and rinse the dust off) throughout the day, especially with the temp becoming up to 105 when the sun was high! Jumping in the river is similar to an instant reset that I was grateful. You will find lots of paths or in the foothills to research, throw up your hammock and then catch a snooze if you needed a escape.

Salmo Beach CrewThe Crew Cares

This is the very first festival I’t been to, and while it’s tough for a girl to leave her tequila I believe my experience was better. Not only was I never having to deal t understand how to hold their liquor, I didn’t witness any fights between campmates or drunk festi-bros. That’s over I can say for any other festival I’ve ever. I understand when I mix alcohol and drugs, my experience is muddled and I certainly remember . I attribute my complete and vibrant memory of this weekend to the fact that I wasn’t chugging booze daily.

The fact that there has been a tent in the middle of downtown having a place to safely test your drugs, and a board advertisements information regarding the standard of drugs moving around, was comforting. I like the fact that the Shambs staff takes accountable partying badly, and I think every festival should have a place.

New Artists!

I caught a few sets between 3-6am that I loved from artists I’d never seen before. Moontricks and Khiva are just two that stand out they killed it. Yeah, that is precisely what festivals are all about!

Moontricks in The Grove.m4v (; 1:48)

Now I understand exactly what my friends raved about. Shambhala is hands down the very best festival I’ve been around in terms of noise and creation, and I’m counting down the days until I can get back to the Ranch.